Donald Edward Shangle, of Medford, Ore., passed away Monday, May 9, 2011, in Vancouver, Wash. He resided in Battle Ground, Wash., for over eight years. Cancer tragically ended his life at the young age of 57.
Don's life began March 27, 1954, in McMinnville, Ore. He attended Hoover Elementary and Hedrick Jr. High in Medford, then transferred to Phoenix High School in Phoenix, Ore., where he graduated in 1972. He played football for the Pirates, and was an All-State wrestler.
On April 16, 1977, he started a 34-year career working for Lithia Motors in Medford. Starting as a salesman, he held numerous positions in the business, including his latest position as director of purchasing. Don bought thousands of cars for Lithia's numerous dealerships. He was well known at various auto auctions around the country. He cherished his Car World Buddies, his Lithia co-workers, and his many friends outside the car industry that he had met and maintained through the years. He was always talking about CARS.
Don was also a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and for three years was the local director for Ducks Unlimited.
Above all, Don was a family man. On May 15, 1977, he married his best friend Pam, his fishing and slot machine buddy. Just short of one week, they shared 34 wonderful years together. Their weekends were spent salmon fishing on the Rogue Bay in Gold Beach, Ore. A record was made the day he caught his prize 57-pound Chinook. His story is still on the Internet to this day! He called it his 15 minutes of fame. Don and Pam had numerous trips to Reno and Las Vegas, Nev., and Spirit Mountain Indian Casino, where he loved the Blazing 777 machines.
On December 9, 1977, his son, Brian, of Portland, Ore., was born, followed by his daughter, Alana, of Henderson, Nev., on January 11, 1980. He considered his two children his greatest accomplishments in his life. He was so proud of them both, and nothing meant more to him than their love and friendship.
Celebrating his 50th birthday in Las Vegas, he drove the car of Jimmie Johnson at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This started his NASCAR hobby. Sundays were spent rooting for and watching #48. He and his family attended races in both Phoenix, and Vegas. Many people will miss his weekly boogidy, boogidy, boogidy messages before each race.
On October 15, 2011, his family expanded with a wonderful son-in-law, Emile Hampton.
Though too short, his life was full and rewarding, and his accomplishments were tremendous. Everyone who knew Don loved him. Two weeks before his passing, he was told he would become a grandfather. Though he will not have an opportunity to know his grandchildren, they most certainly will be told about his life, and Don will never be forgotten.
No formal service will be held. Don's life will be celebrated at various auctions, Lithia Motors, and family gatherings. Please sign the guestbook, or email PamShangle@yahoo.com.
Don always said, "There is a better car deal out there somewhere!" Don, you were the "best" at what you did, and we know you are still out there looking.